View Full Version : In Memoriam: Richard (Dick) Gordon, aka Papa-san

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08-19-2007, 03:18 AM

Richard Gordon, aka 'Papa-san', my uncle and my primary budo teacher, died Thursday, Aug. 16, at St. John's Medical Center, Joplin, MO. Funeral services will be tomorrow, at his wife Marilyn's church in Joplin. Funeral services are being managed by Parker Mortuary (http://www.parkermortuary.com/) in Joplin. A link to his obit is below. You can post messages of condolence to the family or sign a guestbook online at the mortuary website.

Papa-san (http://www.meaningfulfunerals.net/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=138162&fh_id=10419&s_id=DC571C046096D048888D51716D8F901B) had been a student of budo for many years, and among other systems, spent time training in both Yoshinkan and Shinshintoitsu aikido.

I know a few of his students and others who knew him lurk here. If you are, and would like to, send me your contact info, please.

In lieu of flowers, Emily and I will prepare a donation for Ozark Camp Quality (a camp for kids with cancer with which Papa-san did extensive work in his later years) in Papa-san's name from The Dojo and Shobukan.

Camp Q website: http://www.campqualityusa.org/
Mo. website: http://www.campqualityusa.org/camps/oz12.asp

If you feel so led, feel free to donate (the mortuary is arranging for collection of donations, I believe) or send flowers as you see fit, but I'm pretty sure Papa-san would rather have seen donations to help the kids at the camp than have a bunch of smelly wreaths at the church ...


David Humm
08-19-2007, 05:27 AM
Please accept my condolences.

08-19-2007, 09:12 AM
Deepest compassion and condolences for the Westminster Aikikai (CA, USA) and the Roswell Budokan (GA, USA).

08-19-2007, 10:16 AM
Thanks Dave and Lynn and all who have contacted me offline.

I talked to his wife just a bit ago and she said his passing was relatively peaceful and was probably as good a death as could be in the situation. She was at his side, and he simply stopped breathing.

He was battling several problems, among them severe pneumonia and a failing pacemaker. His body and spirit were just worn out and he gave up the fight. I suspect, he did so willfully, and went into the night rather than continue subjecting himself and the family to the drama and angst of the medical community trying to keep him going.

He often said he was surprised and joyful to wake up every morning. He'd cheated death so many times and in so many ways ... I guess he decided not to be surprised any more.

I won't make it back to the US for the funeral tomorrow, but Em and I are actively remembering, talking to family and friends when we can get in touch and letting our students know.

Thanks again, for the good thoughts and warm wishes. I'll pass along all the condolences to the family.


08-19-2007, 10:44 PM
Condolences, Chuck. It's never easy, even when a life has been fully lived, to lose those close to us.

I hope you're doing well with your own rehab.